Majid Kapra

Encroachments along Khushalsar, Gilsar will be removed: Div Com

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Srinagar’s water bodies finally catch govt attention…

Srinagar: Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Pandurang K. Pole Saturday assured that illegal constructions that have come up in and around the Khushalsar and Gilsar lakes in Srinagar will be removed shortly.

Div Com while lamenting over the ‘deteriorated’ condition of these small lakes, which are connected to each other via narrow strait spanned by a bridge known as Gilkadal, said both these water-bodies are in a pathetic condition.

He also said that there are no traces these being anything like lakes, nor do the bird ‘Gill’ from which came the name Gilsar, exist anymore. Both these lakes are highly polluted and encroached upon with illegal constructions and land-filling at many places.

“Demarcation of both Khushalsar and Gilsar has been done and around 70 illegal structures have been identified which will be removed shortly. This issue is under judicial consideration, but we will vacate the stay order and remove encroachments,” Div Com told the media during his visit to Khushalsar and Gilsar.

Accompanied by DC Srinagar, Dr. Shsid Iqbal Choudary, the Div Com also said the government is not going to frame any rehabilitation policy for the people responsible for polluting Khushalsar and Gilsar lakes.

“There are no traces of lakes or the bird ‘Gill’ — so the question of rehabilitating encroachers does not arise at all; we had issued eviction orders in past but they did not budge, hence the government stands resolute to remove all encroachments having taken place over the years,” he added.

P.K Pole also said that people living around Gilsar and Khushalsar have also decided to restore pristine glory of these lakes.

“I am glad that people living here have decided to restore pristine glory of the Khushalsar and Gilsar lakes. I congratulate them for this endeavor as the strength of restoration lies only with the community, which has pledged to play its role with the help of the administration,” Div Com said.

According to an official press release, the locals also demanded that these lakes needs immediate dredging to restore it to their original position, besides connecting them with Nigeen Lake via Botakadal so that its waters remain flowing through the year which is imperative for saving them from further deterioration and turning into cesspool.

Later, the Div Com also visited 90 ft road Soura, and Alamgari Bazar areas of Srinagar city to assess hurdles in way for laying of water pipes by PHE dept to ensure drinking water supply to various areas.

The concerned officers informed the Div Com that several shops need to be demolished at 90 ft road Soura and at Alamgari Bazar to ensure laying of pipes for providing drinking water to various areas of Srinagar city.

Among others, Chief Engineers of R&B and UEED, and Joint Commissioner SMC was also accompanied the Div Com during the visit.

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